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Setting the Expectation

Posted on Fri Sep 10th, 2021 @ 2:59am by Major Naomi Sylan Griffiths & Captain Dirk Taggart

Mission: Buyer's Beware
Location: Captain's Office

Dirk had managed to complete several reports and conduct several on one meeting at the end of his mission briefing, though this one would most likely prove to be the most difficult one. He summoned his XO in an attempt to understand some of the things happening with her and the 2XO. He made a few notes of things he felt needed to be addressed when the door chime alerted him to someone's arrival. "Come in," he said as he sat facing the door.

Finally, after speaking with Lieutenant Hart she managed to get a meeting with the Captain, still smartly dressed she tugged her tunic down as she stood in front of the CRR and pressed the buzzer. She heard the Captain say "come in" so she entered the CRR and came to a stop far enough inside the door for it to close.

"Thank you for seeing me Captain, you must be wondering what is with me of late?" She asked.

Taggart folded his fingers on the wooden desk as he watched the Major enter, "Major Griffiths, my door is always open. I asked to meet you after the meeting for two reasons. One is a matter between you and me, and the second is related to our mission. I want to begin by stating, I have had not spoken with you as much as I probably should have when I first took command of this ship. I wanted to see how the crew reacted to you as a Marine and their Second Officer. Now that the dust has settled and things seem to be moving forward with my command, I wanted to set the expectations of what I would like in the future from you as my XO."

Taggert pressed a button on his PADD and sent a copy of the document he had written to Major Griffiths, "I understand while Kamar was captain that there were things you did due to his unique style. From an outsider's perspective, there was a lot of flexibility and consequences be damned full speed ahead, type mentality. That is ultimately what got him removed from command. A recent example of the manifestation of this would be, while inside the nebula you disabled Lieutenant Hart using medical equipment. When questioned about it you said that you were here to do things the captain wouldn't or couldn't."

The captain took a breath before continuing, "I wanted to let you know Major, I am not like Captain Kamar, I believe in running a tight ship, and I do not approve of rash actions because they are thought the best thing to do in a situation. I've been in Security nearly all of my career, if there is one situation I know better than probably most people aboard this ship it is an unruly person or persons. Did you know I once saved the Vulcan ambassador from a drunken brawl after he chose to sneak out and see humans in their native habitat as he called it?"

"I guess my point is Major, I want us to work as a team and communicate more, I also want you to help me whip a few of our crew into shape. I noticed you left early from the meeting to follow Lieutenant Hart, so I had 2 Senior Officers leave a meeting early and then my 2 XO Lieutenant Commander Rouni shows up late. I double-checked the watch bill to confirm that she wasn't on duty last night or this morning. I need to make sure you and I are on the same page moving forward and yes I do want to know what has been going on with you lately because I need you focused on this ship and her crew."

Still pacing like a caged animal, she could not help it, she paused a moment to gather herself and sort out the things out in her mind "Let me start with Lieutenant Hart, at the time we were stuck in the Nebula that was affecting all of us, myself included but as I have felt such feelings before I was able to control them to some extent, but do not get me wrong Captain while in that Nebula I seriously wanted to punch you, but my training and my discipline thankfully prevented me from taking such action, but it probably guided my actions with Lieutenant Hart. She is a Betazoid and she was feeling everyone's emotions and as such drove her to do something rash and lash out at the bridge crew, ironically we all ended up on the floor unconscious anyway, cannot remember how though."


"I was assigned as First Officer as the crew while experienced had never been in the DQ like myself, but while we are primarily a Science and exploration Captain Kamar was not stupid he knew there will be hostile species we would encounter and having a combat vet would sort that out. Back to Lieutenant Hart, I had a feeling she had something to say in the meeting and was ignored just guessing now, for a Counsellor she is quite sensitive and as for my leaving the meeting early to chase after her it was my job as First Officer to look after our crew, was I wrong in leaving before dismissed I have no doubt that I was and I apologise for that event, but you should really find time to speak to Lieutenant Hart Captain" Griffith's said and paused. "Lieutenant Hart may not like me Captain, but if she had hurt you in any way while in the Nebula I do believe that when we left the nebula and everyone's emotional levels returned to normal she would have felt guilty at her actions even though she would not have helped herself, I can live with her dislike of me knowing that her conscience is not as ladened down with shame as it may have been having, had she actually made contact with you" Griffiths added.


"When I said I was here to do what the Captain could not, was all moot anyway as he was removed for actions I had no idea on, as a Marine Captain I am bound by oath to protect my Captain and the crew, in the Nebula you were affected and so was Addie, she went for you, I had to act on instinct and while the method was wrong my actions while not exactly by the book saved you from scratch marks for an upset ships Counsellor. A marine I maybe, but I still care for the crew despite the green shirt, as for Captain Kamar I never had much of a chance to get to really know him, we had not been together long enough for some type of order to be established as for the crew they see a green shirt and I feel they only see soldiers, they are not wrong, this is my first time as First Officer and I was never given a set of guidelines to go by from Captain Kamar. The only crewmember I have seemed to gain a rapport with of any significance is Doctor Trallos.

As for being on the same page, I would like that too I was trained as a marine to follow the structure I am also trained to save lives, prior to your assignment here there was not much of that, I needed some assistance in First Officer duties, something the Training Manuals could never teach, Captain Kamar never helped with that, he was going into the DQ and wanted a Combat Officer, it is logical in a way a rough part of the galaxy and all. That brings it to what is wrong with me Captain, it has been weighing on me since I first came aboard, I did not miss the strange looks from the crew, a Marine Officer as First Officer! Most had never served under a marine before as they were all fleet officers, there is also a fact that I am the only one on this ship, so imagine how lonely I feel, part and yet not part of the crew.


"Now to what I wanted to speak to you about is a transfer request Captain, not from being your First Officer, but something totally different, since I have been on board and during my off duty hours I have been reading up on First Officer duties, enlightening I must say. But let's face it Captain despite our location the Dominion War is long over and MArines in Command positions are getting fewer and fewer, even when the Federation was formed back in 2161 some MACO Officers changed to Fleet and was given ships to command, granted it was a different time, but when MACO's were merged with Security those MACO Officers were put to a different use. In that vein I wish to transfer to Fleet from Marines, I know my rank is equal to that of a Lt Cmdr and I am okay with that, but of late I have come to realize that being the odd duck out is not a good thing, changing service branches will not remove my combat experience, but I feel it would put the crew more at ease if they only see Fleet Officers and not a marine, this is what has been bothering me for some time Captain and why I would like to officially request a transfer to Fleet from Marines, a well-run ship has no divisions in it and as you are by the booking officer and I have a feeling you would like some normalcy on your ship and we both know any Marine in a position of CO or XO is being phased out" Griffiths said, it was a simple statement.

Taggart took a deep breath before replying, "Major, I understand your concerns but per regulations, we cannot just switch between uniforms or branches. The last set of mandates from Starfleet came out while I was en route here. While they are downsizing the Marines, there is training required in the Alpha Quadrant because of the difference in policies and procedures and other things. I can get further details for you. I believe you can begin some of the pre-requisites remotely. At this time there is no way to return back to Alpha Quadrant without dealing with a lot of politics. I got lucky and was able to hitch a ride with a ship that already had transportation prepared."

Naomi moved to the chair opposite the desk and slumped into it as she visibly deflated "oh great, there are times when I like the rules and there are times when I think they stink, this is one of those times" she looked at the Captain. "Do you have any idea Captain what it is like to be the odd man out on a ship filled with Fleet Officers! I mean I am the First Officer, but I notice the stances of the crew around me, they know what training we Marines have and I think they are either unsure or afraid of me, I know even if you could have allowed the change of branches there would be no guarantee that the crew would treat me any differently, but currently none come to me on duty or off duty, as I said the only person I have a connection with is Doctor Trallos and your Predecessor, I am wishing that I had gone to the academy to train in Fleet Policies now before I accepted the position of First Officer, now I am stuck out here as a Marine who has a crew that is wary of her" she looks at Taggert with a sad face "do you have any idea how alone I feel Captain!?" She asked.

"Major, I do not mean to sound crass, but I do believe you were warned before accepting this position. This is not a standard Marine role and yes you are the odd man, or woman out. This also means that you have two options to proceed." He held a single finger as he spoke, to emphasize his point, "You can step down, proving that the upper brass is correct and a Marine should not have a senior leadership position, and you can go lead a squad of Marines or become a Starfleet Officer." He held up a second finger as he continued to speak, "Or you choose door number two, and suck it up and prove to the Admirals a Marine can command respect and lead her personnel whether they are in a Marine or Fleet uniform. Either way, Major, this is not a decision I can make for you. I will facilitate your choice in either direction. My job is to get the job done as efficiently as possible, I believe I can continue to do that with you as my XO, but if you feel that you cannot, I will not argue your feelings with you."

Looking at the Captain as she sat up again "thanks Captain a bucket of cold water is what I needed there, I would normally go to the Counsellor but Lieutenant Hart is not happy with me, cannot blame her but there is something more to her anger than just being mad at me. As for me, I would like to prove the Admiralty wrong about Marines, I will still do some of those courses you mentioned remotely like anything that may assist in helping me be a better First Officer even if I am a Marine. Back to Addie, I think she wanted to ask you something in the meeting and you did not give her the chance, but there is also something else there I think the after-effects of the Nebula will be with us for some time to come. She stood up a little straighter and looked at Taggert "I will take door number two Captain and suck it up" Griffiths said.

"I will speak to the Counselor after I discuss the situation with the Doctor, it is my understanding there was a medical transport, in the meantime, I need you and our Chief of Security to prepare to do some intelligence gathering. Normally we would have some idea of recent happenings, but we are blind here in Delta. I will be speaking with some officials diplomatically, but I think you would have a better chance of obtaining things. I'd like you, two ladies, to carry a small weapon with you, check with the army, see if any of the Hirogen weapons that were taken when the Penn arrived are in working order. The two of you will also be the only armed away team since we are here for trading. I must stress this Major, be careful, and do not reveal your weapons unless absolutely necessary, this isn't a planet where we can just beam you out."

Actually looking a little alarmed at that bit "understood Captain, hand Phasers it is" Griffiths said making a mental note to get with the Security Chief and bring her up to date on what is happening. "I thought the DQ would be mildly intriguing, I was wrong it is very intriguing, if there is nothing more Captain I will get with the Sec Chief and get on that?" Griffiths asked.

"I think that will be all Major, thank you for your time, " the Captain said courteously as he returned to his work.

With a final nod, Griffiths left the Captain's Ready Room and returned to her duties by way of the Security office wondering to herself how she ever decided to come to the Delta Quadrant.

Captain Dirk Taggart
Commanding Officer
USS Pennsylvania


Major NS Griffiths
First Officer
USS Pennsylvania


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